tv [untitled] June 26, 2011 4:30pm-5:00pm PDT
my name is phil arnold. i'm the deputy director for finance and administration for the human services agency. with me is denise chung, our manager of the office on aging, which provides services to seniors in san francisco. we are the agency that provides the social safety net for san francisco. what makes it's a more livable city. specifically what does that mean? we provide service to low-income families, to foster youth, to housing and homeless. we provide subsidized housing. we provide jobs for low-income residents. we have a summer youth employment program for the second year in a row where we will be employing 240 low-income youth. we provide general assistance, and of course we provide services to seniors and the disabled. our budget reduction target for this year was $18 million. the first half of that we achieved by basically belt-tightening and administrative efficiencies we could come up with.
the second half was tougher. that really did eat into services. we're very grateful today that some of those services have already been restored, the nutrition services for seniors. our target is to preserve and protect the core services, food, jobs, income security, housing, and basic services to seniors and the disabled. denise, do you want to -- >> good afternoon. my name is denise chung. i'm with the office on the aging. we provide services to seniors and adults with disabilities. we contract with about 49 contractors, and among them is -- we provide a lot of services to the seniors and adults with disabilities, which include nutrition program, senior center services, naturalization, case management, and many others, about 20 of them. i'm very grateful to hear mayor lee today that all-be restoring
the nutrition services. thank you very much. we still have cuts on the other -- almost all the programs attached, and we're waiting still for the final decision from the mayor's office. >> hi, everybody. good afternoon. i'm the general manager of your recreation and park department. we have the great pleasure of stewarding over 4,000 acres of open space around the city, including 220 neighborhood parks and several really fantastic jewels in district three. our priorities are very simple. we want clean, safe, fun parks for everyone. and vibrant, robust, healthy recreational opportunities for all. it is widely known that our department has had its share of budget challenges over the last seven years. we've been asked to either cut or raise nearly $43 million from our operating budget. financial sustainability, making sure we can keep our pools and rec centers open, our parks
clean and safe, is our priority. it is also our priority to make sure that no one is denied an opportunity to participate in our recreational programming, and we're very proud of our new recreational model and our very, very robust scholarship program. despite the challenges that i'm sure will be discussed today on -- with respect to our operating budgets, there's a lot of exciting things happening on our capital side. the chinese rec center is undergoing a fantastic renovation, which we hope to have complete by the fall of 2012. it will result in over 30,000 new square feet of fantastic recreation space. we have a number of other exciting capital projects going on in the district, too. thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm the chief finance officer for the health department. i'm very proud to be here representing the department of public health. we have the largest department in the city. we have a -- the largest total
budget. we also have the largest amount of discretionary general fund within our budget, so consequently we received the largest budget reduction target this year. our target is almost $70 million. we are very fortunate, though. in that in december of this past year, the state and federal government approved a new medi-cal plan that for public hospitals in particular, bringing us a significant apt of additional revenue this year and next year. as a canadiens, we've been able to close 60 million of our $70 million budget with revenues and other efficiencies. we were able to close most of the reduction target. we are still looking at some reductions as we go forward here. we have about $9 million of service reductions. with those reductions we've been working constantly with our stakeholders, with our community
providers, and we've been obviously attending all of our town halls, working with the mayor's office and the board of supervisors to find the least harmful way, if we are required to make cuts, to try to effect those reductions in services. i'd be happy to answer questions you have as we go forward. obviously our priority is to protect the health of all san franciscans. that's our mission. we're working hard to finish the rebuild of san francisco general hospital, which thanks to all of the voters who supported our bond measure. we recently moved into a brand-new facility at laguna honda, state-of-the-art facility, thanks to the support of our voters here in san francisco. we're happy to have the support from all of you and from our city partners. thank you. >> thank you. >> good afternoon, everyone. i'm the captain of central
police station. really i think the priority for me today is to listen to the group, like mayor lee said, it's important to get feedback. that's one of my priorities, the essence of community policing, when the community sets the priorities for the police department. on the issue of the budget, the priorities, i think, have to be how can we maintain public safety without reducing services. the department has been successful in this area in recent years, specifically in the area of working with less resources, 'cause we've strategically trimmed our overtime budget to the point where we're working very, very efficiently and crime is still going down over the last few years, especially violent crime. one of our priority is to maintain and continue to see decreases in that area. the other area we have priorities in is maintaining staffing levels so we can obviously handle calls for service and maintain public safety. we also need service resources out there to protect other officers, to do proactive police work, for sufficient officers to
respond as backup, so to speak. one of our biggest priorities at central station is maintain foot patrols. it's one of the things that remains a priority in these challenging fiscal times to maintain foot patrols. aside from that the other issue as it relates to the budget, we talk about it every day at central station, how can we help the situation with its budget situation, because it's really our situation. we're all in this together, so as much as the unions working with the city, i know the police officers, certainly the sentiment at central station is how can we help. so stay tuned. thank you. >> good afternoon. i'm over at the housing authority. thank you for all for having me here. i'll probably be the briefest of everyone here. we have a small footprint in chinatown. we're doing about $8 million
worth of energy retrofits. we're partnering with my good friend, mr. phil, to do the summer youth program, which every public housing youth will go to camp for free if they choose to go to it. we're committed to subsidizing that product. it's a great partnership. worked wonderfully last year. we're going to do it again. the other thing is, most of our funding, 99% of it comes from the federal government. so to that extent my job is to make sure i don't burden the already deficit that the mayor has and supervisor chu has so that we try to maintain our programs in a neutral position. so other than that, we'll be hear to answer your questions and move on from there. >> first of all, i want to thank all of our public servants here today. i look forward to the conversation. so what i'd like to suggest right now, we actually do have one speaker card that was submitted to us before we
started, but if there are members of the public that want to ask any questions, if you could please line up behind this podium. let me read the first question, and we'll start acknowledging folks at the podium. easteri'm going to ask the first question, which is as follows. under the current leadership at the san francisco housing authority, the health and welfare of tenants have not been a priority. sanitary conditions are horrible. the excessive layoffs by labor are taking a terrible toll on the people with more layoffs aped at plumbers. this will surely cause sanitary conditions to reach dangerous levels. the people of the san francisco housing authority are suffering. will you please stop the layoffs. i know we have a representative from our housing authority outbreaks director. mr. mayor, if you want to help answer that, that would be great
as well. >> thank you, supervisor. ladies and gentlemen, again, henry alvarez from the housing authority. the issue of layoffs is a common question that comes up for us. and if your6qr@ recall the majoy of our funding comes from the federal government, and as that national debate to constrict the federal budget goes on, that is -- it's resulted in a $6 million decrease in the housing authority's budget. so as such, there have been a minimal amount of layoffs. there's been no plumbers laid off to my knowledge at the moment. so as we move forward, i don't expect there to be a reduction in plumbing services. and if they were, we still don't expect there to be any reduction in our ability to respond to plumbing needs. we're in the process of doing
$8 million of retrofits, but mostly heater and window replacement. if there's something more specific that you think we need to be doing, we're more than willing to have a conversation. >> great. at this time why don't we hear from members of the public that want to provide comments or questions. since we do have a lot of members of the public who are here to ask questions, we'll ask all speakers to limit yourself to 90 seconds. i know cynthia is keeping time. if you could move to the front, so that you can indicate both to me as well as to the speakers. why don't you sit right here in the front row. and with that, why don't we hear from our first speaker. ernestine. actually your 5:0 mike is not working. now it's working.
>> good afternoon, everyone. i want to thank you for attending and listening to us. first and foremost, we have a problem down at ferry park. they tried to rename it, and all i get is comments. oh, it's political, ernestine. this is not acceptable. the ordinance was a lie. she did not block development. she voted for a 600-car underground garage, which never was built, because i defeated it, thank god. this corruption has to stop. we've had enough of it. no discipline. no supervision. no oversight. now the park is being renovated. it is a disaster. the lighting is in inadequate. a million dollars wasted down the drain. the lighting would prevent crime and the homeless. it's not being done properly. then they put a bunch of 16 rocks, and they just dumped it
on there like a construction debris. it is awful. no oversight again. somebody should come down and see what it looks like. we've wasted a lot of money on that. then they lie to me and say, oh, we can't light the other half of the park, ernestine, because we don't have money, but they have money for rocks. give me a break. rocks do not belong in a park. if you want to save money, come on down, mayor lee, take a look at it at night. it's pitch-dark. it would help crime. please come down and look at it. i'll be glad to show you around. thank you. >> good afternoon. i have the great pleasure of responding to this one. i want to thank you for your passionate leadership of our parks and open waste. ernestine is a regular attendee
of our rec and park meetings. thank you, ernestine. it's my understanding, back in 2006, the board of supervisors passed a unanimous resolution urging that ferry park be named after sue beerman, who is, as everybody knows and agrees, was one of our great civic leaders. that resolution was actually also ratified and approved by the rec and park commission thereafter. and so sometimes we say -- we call it sue beerman park formerly known as ferry park. the more important news is there's important renovation going on in sue beerman park. we hope to be complete and have a great ribbon cutting in june with new irrigation, pathways, improved accessibility, better landscaping and better drainage. ernestine, i hope we can to prove some of your concerns wrong and you come to the
>> the first issue ms. lee is that, first of all, she's an advocate for the community for many years. first problem is regarding of the layoff in the housing authority. a lot of the workers in the housing authority, for example, the plumber, janitor, has been laid off. due to that, there's a lot of services that have been cut in the public housing. there's, for example, when there's leak, the residents have to wait so long to get this problem fixed. [speaking foreign language]
fact that housing authority's got funding to replace the window and the plumbing, but there's no one cleaning the stairways in the corridors, when even we complain to the property managers. we just wanted to -- they only clean for once or twice every year when there's an inspection from the h.u.d. or housing authority. we wanted to stress that you please get someone to clean the common areas. >> great. >> thank you. >> ms. lee, good to see you again. i'm thankful you didn't ask me about the elevator, because i don't have an answer for that. as far as for the common area and stairs, we'll get right on that. i wasn't aware that you were still concerned about those. i thought our folks had got to that. >> i'm going to run
interference. i think, mrs. lee, excuse me, she has the tenants, 35 tenants she brought with her, and they have a whole list of questions. so instead of 35 answering you each question, will take that long, maybe we should allow her to finish her little list of all the complaints so that then you can, you know, answer it better instead of keep on cutting it off like that. >> how many folks are her here? just raise your hand. [speaking foreign language]
>> here's what i'm going to suggest. there are a number of folks here who have the same issues. by the way, if we could make sure our audiovisual is working. i'd like mrs. lee to ask the last question with regard to the housing authority, for the housing authority to answer that question, because i do know there are a number of folks here who do have issues, and then we'll go from there. by the way, is there an issue with the audio? are we having trouble with translation? fixed ask everyone, if you could please keep your voices down. we obviously want to continue the conversation. we're going to ask mrs. lee to make her one last ask of the housing authority. we'd like to ask the housing authority to answer that, and then we'll proceed to the other questions.
>> the last question, the sidewalk on stockton street. a lot of products on the street, on the sidewalk, making it not accessible for seniors and those with disabilities. she wanted to see if we can solve these problems. >> let me -- hello? testing. there you go. let me ask mrs. lee's comments about the sidewalks. as the previous public works director, in those areas, where we thought the pedestrians and particularly seniors were being forced to walk into the streets because of all the clutter from the produce boxes left on the streets, this question we will step up that enforcement with the department of parking and traffic as well as with the department of public works along
stockton street, particularly from broadway to washington is where most of the seniors actually get forced to go on the street. so will we will ask them to step up that enforcement and to cite those that are leaving their produce boxes in the way of seniors who then are forced to walk into the streets, or who are moving in such a way in which seniors might get injured because of those boxes that are there. so i hear you loud and clear. we'll be following up on that, mrs. lee. thank you. >> why don't we ask our next speaker, if you could please step up. thank you. >> good afternoon. can you all hear me well? my name is james patrick carroll, representing amnesty international. i'm also a democratic candidate seeking the mayoral position in november. i very much appreciated ms. lee's comments.
i share her concerns for sanitation and cleanliness in the city. supervisor newsom, in his seven-year tenure as mayor did nothing to clean the feces and urine which still exist in the tenderloin. he was handed 31 businesses and ended up costing the city over $300 million in total. i'm also concerned are about the $40 million in cuts, which are proposed to the substance dependent adults programs in the city, as well as the services, which are now in place for marginally-housed adults. these programs have saved the
city tremendous amounts in human will capital as well as in dollars and cents. a human being who is housed has a five times less chance -- lesser chance of making a police contact. a human being is -- >> thank you very much. thank you very much. >> -- has five times lesser chance of going into an emergency room. it's saving the city a great deal of money. i would ask you not to cut these programs. >> okay, thank you. >> thank you, david. >> by the way, since we have a lot of folks lined up, i'll suggest we take a number of comments, and every four or five, if there are departments heads that want to ask the questions, we'll go from there. i'll ask our next speaker if you could please step up. >> hello. my name has to do with the pensions for the city and specificallyxd for new hires. and the question that i have is
that between june of 2008 and june of 2010, the san francisco employee retirement system lost $2.7 billion in value during the economic downturn. and soon the city's contribution to the pension system will be $800 million, which is about a $1,000 per resident of san francisco. and is it possible that we could move new city employees to a 401(k) type system and avoid the risk of that kind of downturn, which requires cuts in city services? >> thank you. as you heard earlier, i'm working very hard on pension reform. that's one of my very important issues that we're working with. many people in the city right now. we'll be presenting to the behind from the mayor's office a proposal in the next two weeks. yes, we're going to end up
having new hires pay a lot more into the pension system, part of the proposal, but every way that we looked we could not figure out how to balance that pension system without having current employees pay more into the system. so it cannot be just the full burden than on new hires. new hires will end up having to pay a lot more, and they will not have the same system as we have today. that's for sure. we have to have additional contributions from the employees of the city. we'll be forwarding that pension proposal to the board and hopefully in the next few weeks proposing it in public, and introducing it as a ballot measure for november. >> i look forward to supporting that. this is work the mayor and many representatives, both from labor bed the city department, have